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[links] Link salad really talked, yes it did, to God's early dawning light - Lakeshore
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Jay Lake
Date: 2012-10-01 05:08
Subject: [links] Link salad really talked, yes it did, to God's early dawning light
Security: Public
Tags:art, christianists, climate, culture, gay, healthcare, history, ipad, links, nature, personal, politics, religion, science, tech, videos, weird
Apple's $30bn maps mistakeTim Cook's delayed apology over the maps fiasco tells us a lot about the company's attitude and management. Yep, the corporate dick-waving over Google trumped Apple's usual dedication to the user experience. Ego for the win, and to hell with their customers. Hey, Apple, how about giving us back Google Maps in iOS6?

Hey, Apple: Mapping Takes More Work than You ThinkApple's apology suggests it may underestimate how much effort is needed to build a great map app.

Turkey Demands Return of Art, Alarming the World’s Museums — When I consider the Islamic world's relationship to pre-Islamic antiquities, I can't help but think of the Bamiyan Buddhas.

HominidInsects with visible human skeletons do insect things in the unsettling animation Hominid, based on the series of photo composites by Brian Andrews under the same title. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

Injured bald eagle gets new 3-D printed beak — Wow. Weird. (Via [info]wild_irises.)

Cooley Airship: 1910 — Hmmm.

One Proposal to Relieve a Warming Planet: An Umbrella Made of Asteroid — Because space rocks.

Climate change 'may shrink fish'Fish species are expected to shrink in size by up to 24% because of global warming, say scientists. Honey, I shrunk the fish? Of course, conservative fish will be as large as ever.

The Conservative Case for Obamacare — Duh. HCR started out as a Heritage Foundation proposal. Not exactly screaming socialists over there. And I do not understand why a political movement allegedly dedicated to entrepreneurship is so opposed to fixing one of the biggest barriers to individual business initiative — access to healthcare financing. I guess that's like a political movement allegedly dedicated to ending abortion being opposed to sex education, contraception and women's health services.

Schwarzenegger vetoed gay marriage twice, secretly performed two — Because conservatives have ethics, unlike those godless liberals.

Homework AssignmentScrivener's Error on the subject of presidential debates.

Why I Refuse to Vote for Barack Obama — Because Mitt Romney would be better about any of the issues mentioned in this piece? Really?

President Obama: The Democrats' Ronald Reagan — Interesting piece, though for me personally, my deep resentment of the endless hagiography of the old fraud that was Ronald Reagan really mars the comparison.

Court Weighs Same-Sex to Race-Related Laws Following Obamacare — Oh, boy. More chances for conservative ideology to mar American jurisprudence for a generation.

Apocalyptic rhetoric of religious right is playing with fireThat wild talk is just pep-rally hyperbole that they don’t really expect to come about any more than they really expected all of the horrific consequences they earlier predicted would come to pass when Vermont first allowed civil unions, or when “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was repealed. But not everyone understands that it’s just a game. And not everyone understands that these over-the-top predictions and lies are just role-playing aspects of that game. And when some of the people who listen to, and trust, these religious right spokespeople and right-wing media outlets hear what those folks are saying — and believe it, the consequences can be tragic: You could apply this reasoning to most the body of conservative political rhetoric in my lifetime, and a fair amount of liberal-progressive rhetoric as well. Except us lefties tend not to be quite so starkly apocalyptic, or violent in our messaging.

Riverside County GOP registration surge raises questions of fraudAt least 133 residents of a state Senate district there have filed formal complaints with the state, saying they were added to GOP rolls without their knowledge. With abuses like this becoming routine news, it's a good thing Republicans the country over are on the case to keep brown people from voting. Look, ACORN!

Ryan Says Romney 47 Percent of Americans Remark a Misstep — Gee. Ya think? That's what happens when Republicans are honest. People really understand what conservatism is all about. Almost nobody likes that truth.

?otD: Are you privileged to be as you are to this day, to be with you? To be with you?




10/1/2012
Writing time yesterday: 1.0 hours (2,000 words on novelette)
Body movement: 0.5 hour stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 8.0 (interrupted, with napping)
Weight: 226.4
Currently reading: Heartland by Mark Teppo

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russ: quo vadis
User: goulo
Date: 2012-10-01 14:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:quo vadis
> Why I Refuse to Vote for Barack Obama — Because Mitt Romney would be better about any of the issues mentioned in this piece? Really?

I guess you didn't notice that the author DIDN'T assert or assume that Romney would be better. ("The case against casting a ballot for the president -- even if you think he's better than Mitt Romney")

In any case, Obama was WORSE than the Republican president Bush on many issues, contrary to my initial expectations. Who can know if Romney would really be worse (though I agree he probably would be).

That said...

I can certainly understand NOT wanting to cast a vote in support of a president who, for example, has asserted (and used) the right to simply kill US citizens with no legal process, or who terrorizes citizens in other countries by drone strikes (at a far higher rate than Bush ever did), or who aggressively treats whistle-blowers as traitorous criminals (far more than previous presidents), etc etc etc. I can certainly understand not wanting blood on one's hands by voting in support of these kinds of things. I can well understand someone's conscience not permitting them to support such a president, even if Romney might be worse in many ways (e.g. I agree Romney would probably be noticeably worse about women's rights).

I can certainly understand not wanting to cast a vote in support of a president who has cynically broken so many campaign promises which were important to voters, and who has proven himself to be at best a Republican Lite (but in some significant ways far more extreme than Bush dreamed of being). "Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me." Obama is a huge disappointment; why reward him with a second term?

If 2 different candidates are really bad, I'm sick of the "at least he's the lesser evil" argument. Why lend support to EITHER of them, instead of supporting some OTHER more principled candidate (even if that is "throwing one's vote away")? This is the ridiculousness of the US election system. "Vote for the one who's only rancid shit, because the other one is rancid PUTRID shit"! Screw that. I believe the US would be better served by Jill Stein as president than either of those two. So why should I lie when I vote and say that I think Obama should be president?

As long as voters keep voting and supporting evil, why do we think the evil will end? Whether it's a Democrat or Republican in office, the same old evil corruption continues: screw the poor, help the rich, suppress opposition, imprison and kill people for profit, etc. I'm not lending my personal support to a president who continues (and in many ways increases) the evils which he hypocritically claimed to oppose. The more votes Obama gets, the more that shows that Americans are OK with broken campaign promises, killing US and foreign civilians, ignoring Iraq war and Wall Street criminals, punishing whistle-blowers, oppressing Muslim Americans, increased spying on citizens, etc. Of course I agree Romney would probably continue more of the same. So why in good conscience would I give EITHER of them my vote?
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Jay Lake: politics-upsidedown_flag
User: jaylake
Date: 2012-10-01 14:34 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:politics-upsidedown_flag
I don't disagree with your or the original author in your premises. I just think that refusing to vote for Obama is making a conscious choice to hand things to someone who will self-consciously and as a matter of ideology make these problems, and many others, much worse.

Which obviously means I'm subscribing to the lesser-of-the-two-evils argument.

On the other hand, we had the greater-of-the-two-evils for eight years under Bush, and I can't believe anyone with either a heart or a brain thinks that was good for America or for the world.

Should there be more systemic change? Absolutely. Will it be enabled by protest voting in this election? Vanishingly unlikely.

So, me, I vote for the least worst path.

FWIW, at the moment, my biggest hope for meaningful change is the possible-but-not-probable self-destruction of the conservative movement under the internal weight of its own profound intellectual and moral inconsistencies. That would provide an opportunity for significant political realignment in this country. Which has happened a few times before in the course of American history. Validating the GOP's current arc by refusing to vote for Obama reduces the chance of that Republican collapse.
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russ: quo vadis
User: goulo
Date: 2012-10-01 14:52 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:quo vadis
> On the other hand, we had the greater-of-the-two-evils for eight years under Bush, and I can't believe anyone with either a heart or a brain thinks that was good for America or for the world.

Indeed, I agree Bush was awful for the US and the world. And similarly 4 years of Obama was awful for the US and the world. I.e., it's getting worse and worse either way, whether there's a Republican or a Democrat in charge. The 2 parties love to play up their differences (and yes the differences exist), but in many important ways they are both doing the same damaging things. It was not just Bush or just Republicans who got us into these wars, got us the PATRIOT act, got us imprisoning and torturing people in Guantanamo, helped screw the economy, etc.

It may well be that it needs to get worse before it gets better, like an alcoholic hitting rock bottom; I don't know. Or maybe our Republican and Democrat leaders are simply leading the country to inevitable ruin, the way of all empires. In any case, I cannot in good conscience keep validating the shit they keep doing.

> Validating the GOP's current arc by refusing to vote for Obama reduces the chance of that Republican collapse.

Sorry, but voting (e.g.) for the Green Party is validating the Green Party; it's not "validating the GOP's current arc" any more than it's "validating Obama's current arc". Indeed, it's explicitly rejecting both the major parties and their current arcs!

If I wanted to validate the GOP's current arc, I'd vote for the GOP.

And voting for Obama is validating Obama, just as voting for Romney would be validating Romney. Since I consider many of Obama's deeds to be not only harmful but evil, I have a hard time feeling a desire or obligation to validate him, just as I would not in good conscience vote for Romney.

Edited at 2012-10-01 02:54 pm (UTC)
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ulfhirtha
User: ulfhirtha
Date: 2012-10-02 02:14 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
"Sorry, but voting (e.g.) for the Green Party is validating the Green Party; it's not "validating the GOP's current arc" any more than it's "validating Obama's current arc". Indeed, it's explicitly rejecting both the major parties and their current arcs!"

Remembering 2000 and Nader's naive and disastrous influence in securing the election of W, I must respectfully disagree to this extent - while you may intend for your vote to be such, its actual effect is NOT that and can reliably be foreseen as ushering in candidates even more inimical to your outlook than others. The actual political climate is as much a factor to be considered as any paticular candiate's position.
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russ: quo vadis
User: goulo
Date: 2012-10-02 08:10 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:quo vadis
Yes, this is the central unanswerable paradox of the ridiculous US system which is ostensibly not 2-party but in practice 2-party.

There are 2 separate issues.

First is "What short-term effect will result from voting for a better 3rd party?" Yes, it might mean that Romney wins when I'd slightly prefer Obama. To me, this is like "Would you like 10 of your ribs broken, or just 8 of your ribs broken? Or you can try to get none of your ribs broken, even though that's much less likely to work right now."

Second is "What long-term effect will result from voting for a better 3rd party?" If everyone continues to vote only Republican or Democrat, the system obviously won't change, and the 2 morally corrupt parties will continue business as usual. But suppose that more and more people quit voting Republican or Democrat and start voting for candidates who actually reflect their values. Out of self-interest and survival, the Republicans and Democrats would necessarily be forced to respond to such a wake-up call and realign themselves to the demonstrated desires of the people. That honestly seems to me the only way (in-system, as opposed to catastrophic revolution) for any change to occur. But as long as people keep voting Republican and Democrat, that simply affirms that Republicans and Democrats can keep on doing what they're doing.

Basically, I'm sick of focusing on the short-term gain of only breaking 8 ribs instead of 10 ribs, and thinking of the long term gain of eventually stopping getting our ribs broken in the first place.

Or to put it more bluntly: if I don't want a president who punishes and murders innocent people while supporting and pardoning powerful people who do real harm, then I shouldn't vote for one.

PS: The "you should vote for the lesser of two evils" argument interestingly always assumes that the people who cannot in good conscience support a mainstream candidate will be progressives/left-wingers. Yet I also see plenty of self-identified conservatives/right-wingers who seem disgusted with Romney and disinclined to vote for him.

The fewer votes which Republicans AND Democrats receive and the more votes which other more appealing parties receive, the sooner the Republicans and Democrats will both change their ways... or lose their power... either of which sounds like a good outcome to me, certainly preferable to having things continue as they are.
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Stephen Watkins
User: swatkinsjr
Date: 2012-10-01 17:57 (UTC)
Subject: Unrelated to today's links
I came here to point out, if it wasn't already known, that something appears to be screwed up at jlake.com. I looked today, and the latest blog post there dates to 2011.

I noticed last week that my feed reader had stopped picking up blog posts. Since my feed reader pulls from the jlake.com feed and not the Live Journal feed... this looked disconcertingly like Jay had stopped blogging cold. Given the current circumstances he spoken about in his life, this left me feeling a little worried. I only today thought to look up the Live Journal feed to see if the blog was still here...

So, just thought I'd point that out, if it wasn't already known (I'd suspect it was).
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2012-10-01 18:00 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Unrelated to today's links
Yes. I have an open ticket on that with my host.

Grrr.

(I am fine, if a bit under the weather from chemo side effects.)
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Stephen Watkins
User: swatkinsjr
Date: 2012-10-01 18:18 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Unrelated to today's links
Very glad to hear it. Hope the website issue gets resolved soon.
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russ: lyles constant
User: goulo
Date: 2012-10-01 20:55 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Unrelated to today's links
Keyword:lyles constant
It too often seems like computers are supposed to save us time and labor but alas end up costing us time and labor... :)
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2012-10-01 22:32 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Unrelated to today's links
I was just about to point out that glitch, but I see someone got there first.

Though comparing Turkey to Afghanistan really isn't fair, cause Turkey is a secular sort of democracy with a very strict separation of religion and state, while Afghanistan under the Taliban was a theocracy. Now there are worrying tendencies in Turkey towards islamisation at the moment, but the discussion is about whether women with headscarves should be allowed in public buildings like schools and universities. Turkey is a far cry even from present day Afghanistan, let alone from Taliban Afghanistan.

I also have some sympathy for Turkish attempts to get artworks and antiques back, because they lost a lot of their artistic heritage to the West, because the Ottoman Empire was always happy to sell off antiques to make money (that's how the Elgin marbles got to London). Berlin has a lot of antiques from the former Ottoman Empire, because the German Empire was allied with the Ottoman Empire and thus a lot of German archaeologists used to work there. Returning the Hittite Sphinx to Turkey was fairly uncontroversial (but then our museums are easy to "persuade" to return artwork of questionable provenance), because it had really been taken to Berlin for restorations (it had basically been reduced to rubble and had to painstakingly reassembled) and then was sort of forgotten over political shifts in Turkey and Germany.

What I'd really like to see is Turkey going after the Hermitage in St. Petersburg to get the treasure of Priamos back.

Cora
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mmegaera
User: mmegaera
Date: 2012-10-01 22:33 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I do not understand why a political movement allegedly dedicated to entrepreneurship is so opposed to fixing one of the biggest barriers to individual business initiative — access to healthcare financing.

This absolutely baffles me, too, Jay.
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ulfhirtha
User: ulfhirtha
Date: 2012-10-02 02:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It was my understanding that this was one of the business-related reasons for engaging in a major Health Care/Insurance overhaul - i.e. many of the foreign businesses with whom we compete don't have the health care burden we do as that is already handled by the government in some fashion. Lift that from our companies and they too may be more profitable and competitive.
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mmegaera
User: mmegaera
Date: 2012-10-02 16:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
And yet the Republicans fought it tooth and nail, and basically took all the teeth out of it.

[shakes head, confounded]
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